Thursday, April 14, 2005

The character assassination of John Bolton - UPDATED

UPDATED: Otto Reich, in today's WSJ editorial, defends Bolton:

I know quite a bit about the spurious charge being used to try to stop Mr. Bolton. As the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, it was my responsibility to ensure that policy makers had the best possible analysis on which to base our decisions, which in some cases involved life-and-death matters. In my opinion, and that of many of my fellow "intelligence consumers," we were not receiving the best possible intelligence analysis from this highly placed officer. I documented complaints about the analyst in question in a classified three-page letter which I handed to the supervisor. I specifically stated that I did not wish the officer punished in any way, but that I did expect from the intelligence community a less biased and more professional analysis, which this individual had proven incapable of providing.


Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard who has worked with John Bolton debunks the "kiss-up, kick-down" characterization by Carl Ford.

I worked with John Bolton in the first Bush administration. I know many people who have worked with him and for him in this administration. Carl Ford's characterization of Bolton as a "kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy" is disingenuous. No, let's call a spade a spade--it's dishonest.

John Bolton is no "kiss-up." Quite the contrary. Over the last four years, he was famously willing to challenge his bosses, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, at the daily 8:30 State Department senior staff meeting. He paid a price for this, especially by earning the enmity of Armitage. Carl Ford, the former State Department intelligence chief, was a close associate of Armitage.

Nor is Bolton a "kick down sort of guy." In fact, Bolton has always had a reputation as a straight shooter, a good boss, and not a screamer--unlike, say, Armitage. (Not that Armitage's screaming should disqualify him from a future appointment, either. Lots of able public officials have been screamers.) The fact is, John Bolton lost trust in a subordinate of Ford who had tried an end run around him and then asked, according to the subordinate's immediate boss in the intelligence shop, only that he be "moved to some other portfolio."

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